*throws up some kind of gang sign*
...what would a Catholic gang sign be? A crucifix seems a bit generic-Christian... :D
Anyway. I thought since we now have members in double digits (whoop whoop) we could start introducing ourselves. I'd like this to be a friendly community, and sometimes it helps if we know a bit about each other! I'll split my intro into GENERAL STUFF and CATHOLIC STUFF, which you may find a useful model to follow.
My name is Rachel (as my innovative username gives away), I live in the UK, and I have recently completed a PhD in medieval studies (so if anyone gives you any crap about "the Church is evil because of the CRUSADES" let me know). Calling me Doctor gives me warm, warm fuzzies. I am currently seeking permanent employ in academia. In the meantime I do a part time admin job and I also teach at a couple of northern universities. I'm currently addicted to The Wire
and am working my way through season 2. I am very geeky, but luckily for me since I work in a very nerdy industry I come across as quite rock and roll due to my infatuation with bright eyeshadow and my freewheeling talking ways.
In terms of catholicleft
business, I am pretty left wing. I normally vote Liberal Democrat though I don't feel a particular affiliation to them. I'm starting to wonder if the Green Party, with its emphasis on social justice, might be a better fit, even though they tend to be pigeonholed as an environmentalist group.
I find that I am nearly entirely in line with Catholic social teaching
, and I admit that I find Catholics who are very right wing/conservative in their political views a bit perplexing, since it seems much easier to commit to charity, solidarity and subsidiarity if one supports more left wing initiatives. (Which isn't to say at all that right wingers can't be charitable people who care about their community! But I do think it complicates things. Maybe I'll expand on this at some point, though I'm probably preaching to the choir.)
Unlike, perhaps, some of our members, I would describe myself as pro-life, which comes out of my sense of social justice and the inviolability of human life. Importantly, this for me means that I term pro-life to mean pretty much what the Council of Bishops said in 2007:
Catholic teaching about the dignity of life calls us to oppose torture, unjust war, and the use of the death penalty; to prevent genocide and attacks against noncombatants; to oppose racism; and to overcome poverty and suffering. Nations are called to protect the right to life by seeking effective ways to combat evil and terror without resorting to armed conflicts except as a last resort, always seeking first to resolve disputes by peaceful means. We revere the lives of children in the womb, the lives of persons dying in war and from starvation, and indeed the lives of all human beings as children of God.
I don't, however, support attempts to criminalise abortion, since the result of abortion being a criminal act is death in misery for women and infanticide or criminal neglect for children. I get kind of annoyed with pro-life groups that picket abortion clinics without actually seeming to want to invest in examining the causes of abortion and thinking about how to encourage society to be more pro-life in its full, encompassing sense of valuing all its citizens as equals.
The main area I politely disagree with the Church is on the issues of homosexuality and gender identity, the recent furore over which here in the UK was an inspiration for this community. I may replicate recent posts I have made over here, so for now I'll just say that firstly I believe strongly that love is a God-given and ennobling quality, and that homosexual couples are just as capable of being sanctified by love within marriage as heterosexuals are, and secondly that the gender binaries the Church emphasises so much are a narrow way of looking at the beautiful multiplicity of God's creation.
I think that's a long enough intro for now... How about you? Don't feel shy about saying you disagree with me - we're all of us different. :)